Saturday, October 30, 2010

Starting a business is by no means an easy task. Even though, some people, with vested interests, often want to make you believe, it is almost child's play. Yet, most likely, you will work longer hours and worry a lot more about your own and your business performance, than you ever did about your job, when you were employed.

There are many reasons why people take on this burden and the increased pressure. One, they most often cite, is independence, being your own boss, working in a direction that you, rather than someone else, decided on. Only occasionally do I hear comments about making more money, or not having been appreciated, when the new business owner was an employee. Thus, making money, being an important aspect for a successful business, appears for most start-up entrepreneurs, at the personal level, only a secondary motivator.

At the beginning, when your business slowly grows and every sale you make is a really achievement, keeping everything under control is a key issue. If you have not run a business before, you will learn every day and your experience about your business activity will become greater and greater. That, almost inevitably, will reflect itself in an "I know best" attitude. As long as you do not have employees, that is not necessarily a bad view. Even though, you will often be taught by circumstances that you did not know best. Adjusting your views about things "you know best" will become part of your learning process. If it does not, you are heading for trouble. Yet, when this issue becomes really important, is when you get your first employee. You can give instruction and training and let it be known, how you want it done. But the employee is still an individual that has its own horizons, and, within reason, his own method of dealing with issues. Now, you have introduced a new variable to your business. One, you will have to learn to deal with rather quickly.

Many entrepreneurs have great difficulties  adjusting to these new circumstances. Consequently, they mismanage it. Being able to manage growth and change within your enterprise will be one of the key issues, if you want to survive.

A similar problem arises when you look for, and accept financial partners in the business. You can set joint financial goals with them and still end up on a divergence of opinions. The origin of this divergence may not have anything to do with your company's performance and so is wholly outside your control. How you deal with it and how you resolve it will be a determining factor in the success of your venture.

The summary of this first blog entry about starting a business is therefore not about what you start, or what has a greater chance of success. It is more about how you see yourself managing change. The earlier you think about that, the greater your chance of success!